SOI Changes Lives in Many Ways

In 1988, I experienced SOI for the first time when my now-grown son struggled in the third grade. He was given the SOI test and completed sessions throughout the year at Brainworks (formerly of Carrollton). After I retired from teaching school in 2002, I became the math coordinator at Brainworks and learned a lot more about the SOI tests and modules.

In the spring of 2008, one of my adult clients at Brainworks was James O’Connell. James had finished a tour of duty in the army and was back home  trying to figure out what to do with his life. James had attended Carrollton schools and struggled because of his ADHD. He was apprehensive about going to college because of his past school experiences and struggles with math/algebra.

When I first began working with James, I had no idea what a big part of my life James and his mother, Patti O’Connell, would become! I still hear from Patti from time to time whenever James reaches a milestone in life. A couple years ago, she emailed me to remind me of where James began when I first met him.

James’ initial SOI test was on October 31, 2007. At that time, we estimated that James would need approximately 73 hours of SOI cognitive skills training and 40 hours of work with me on math and algebra. That amounted to about 50-60 two-hour sessions.

After only 38 hours of session time, however, James was Continue reading “SOI Changes Lives in Many Ways”


Working with Adults and SOI: A Life-Changing Experience

When people ask me what ages I work with, I usually say “4 to 94.” That surprises them because they assume that I only work with school-age children and teenagers. It is true that over the last 10-12 years, most of my clients have been young, but one of my best experiences was with one of my adult clients, Lester.

When I first tested Lester, he was 43 years old. Lester was sent to me by his mother, who was very concerned about her son. Lester was so lonely and depressed that he confined himself to his apartment, only leaving for brief outings to the grocery store. He had not had a job in over three years. School was difficult for Lester because of various learning disabilities. He attended college for a short time, but found it to be overwhelming. Lester was married briefly, until the day his wife announced she wanted a divorce.

When I met Lester, he was severely depressed and did not make eye contact. One afternoon, after working with Lester twice a week for over two months, I was following him down the hall and suddenly realized that he was over six feet tall! When I began working with him, Lester walked with his head hanging down and shoulders slumped, but now he was walking tall and confidently! That’s why I love my job!

The results of Lester’s SOI test revealed why he struggled in school: while one-third of his profile was above average, his low scores were in cognition and visual memory. Lester’s auditory memory was gifted and auditory memory (with sequencing) was high average. In school, he seldom understood anything the first time it was taught, so he would use his excellent auditory memory to memorize concepts for the next test. Continue reading “Working with Adults and SOI: A Life-Changing Experience”